Out Of The Box – Mainstream Perfume Mini-Reviews Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of my sniffing marathon through my mainstream perfume sample box.

Creed Virgin Island Water: although it is debatable whether this is mainstream or not, its smell of chlorine is not. (Of course it is, but this is my post after all! 😉 ) VIW smells not of the ocean or any kind of island to me, but of the community pool. I wish I could say anything different.

Thierry Mugler Angel La Rose: I tell it like it is, I am afraid of Angel, deathly afraid. It has a sillage to kill several small children, since there are always a few of those around me, I have to be extra careful.  La Rose is one of the many flankers this successful perfume has brought into existence, and I must say it is not bad. Rose is indeed the star here, embedded in the familiar gourmand-patchouli accord that made Angel famous. If it was a little more quiet, I would actually wear it, but I refrain for security reasons (see above).

Burberry The Beat: either my sample is off, or I am not getting something. This is a huge seller, is it not? May I ask why? To me this smells really bad, something rotten underneath a good dose of Off! bug spray. Maybe my sample is off, in any case I say: beat it, Beat!

Shiseido Zen Eau de Parfum: this is the third incarnation of Zen, the first – and entirely different one – hailing from 1964. It is an okay citrus wood scent with a little flower bouquet thrown in. Although okay is a far cry from the historic greatness of Feminitè de Bois this house brought forth. Sometimes a legacy is a hard thing to bear.

Michael Kors by Michael Kors Eau de Parfum: big synthetic tuberose perfume, with amber and a bit of iris, I believe, with a very nice spicy drydown. If the tuberose were a little more quiet, I would really like this, but as it is, it is another reminder of why I do not like tuberose. Now please, calm down already!

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey: well, well, well, what do we have here? The great love of my husband’s perfumed life. And not only his, this is the best-selling aquatic floral ever. If one likes the genre it helped engender, why not go to the source. I can’t help myself, when I say, to me it will always be a well-done air freshener at best.

Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia: if this were as edible as it smells, I’ll take a plateful. This is a really great smell, almond cookies, marzipan, it is all in there, and very realistically rendered too. While I like to take a whiff of this now and then, I would not wear it. I’d imagine dogs and small children alike, trying to bite me all day.

Narciso Rodriguez For Her: I still have a half-full bottle of this and I found several samples in my box. For years people associated me with this scent (as I have just recently heard from a friend). It is a floral musk, not demure, not quiet, but distinctive and interesting. Many others thought along those lines too apparently, for I have found several very similar perfumes that were launched later. The most prominent among those is none lesser than Guerlain Idylle. These days I find For Her a bit grating, I think our glory days are over.

DSquared She Wood Velvet Forest Wood: now that seems to be a flanker of Wood and it is pink. It is a fresh, citrus topped pine-y, woody scent that actually manages to smell like perfume not air freshener despite those notes. It is a bit thin, but definitely better than I expected. Not as interesting as the original He Wood, which is a very good and unusual fragrance.

Chloè Eau de Toilette: thin and inconsequential rose. The bottle is the best thing about it, sadly.

Chloé Eau de Parfum Intense: intense, thin and inconsequential rose. The bottle is the best thing about it. Did I say that already? I have a feeling of deja-vu!

Jean-Paul Gaultier Classique: Hit you over the head powdery and sweet floriental. A boudoir scent with a sillage to impress even Angel aficionados. Not so bad, if you like that kind of perfume, but too much for me, a head-ache in waiting. Iconic bottle.

I still have enough in that bottomless box for two more installments, so stay tuned.

What are your favorite mainstream perfumes?

Image source: eisen.huettenstadt.de

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Amber, Aquatic, Citrus, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Fruity, Musk, Oriental, Powdery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Out Of The Box – Mainstream Perfume Mini-Reviews Part 2

  1. Ines says:

    You have a new comment mask? 🙂

    My mainstream favorites are Eau de Cartier and Burberry Brit.
    And speaking of Burberry, the success of Beat is lost on me, I don’t think your sample is off, I can’t understand the appeal either.

    • Olfactoria says:

      WordPress has a new comment mask, it is meant to make logging in via various social sites easier and protect identities better (or something to that effect 😉 )

      Eau de Cartier is nice, certainly great in the heat.
      I am glad I am not alone in my astonishment about Beat. 🙂

      (this rhymes and what rhymes is good, as my son likes to point out!)

  2. lady jane grey says:

    Thank you for cheering me up – I’m rather in a bad mood these days.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, I am sorry to hear that! Maybe you find a little solace in perfume…
      I have been missing you already! I hope you’ll feel better soon!

      • lady jane grey says:

        I’ve been travelling a lot recently (for business), and had to do with problems only. There is still no light to be seen at the end of the tunnel…. I even had to spritz the Figue scent from Nez a Nez today.

  3. anotherperfumeblog says:

    I used to wear NR for her very faithfully, too, but it is a bit much. These days, I feel a little nostalgic and fond when I smell it on someone else, but I don’t wear it. What strikes me is how many in your list are “ok, fine” but how few are amazing. It is really too bad there aren’t better mainstream perfumes, considering that is all that is readily available to many people.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is exactly what I am thinking, there is a multitude of really bad scents, many quite nice and okay ones and very, very few great ones. But maybe it is the same with books, movies, etc. Let’s face it, the majority is not great there either, but there is a huge variety of really bad. 😉

  4. Marla says:

    We are definitely Scent Twins, except for the fact I am 80% anosmic to Narciso anything. I have macrocyclic musk issues…. I went through a whole bottle of the Mandorlo- used it as room perfume, though, for the same reason you cited- I did not want to smell so edible, as there were always animals and toddlers running around my house and yard back then. The goats in particular REALLY loved that one, and I lost a couple of shirt sleeves before I got wise to why they kept biting me!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is wonderful, I always wanted to find my scent twin! and that it is you makes me proud! 🙂
      I am anosmic to many Muscs too, I can’t smell Musc Nomade for instance, or the musk in the Osmoz notes kit – nothing at all!
      Narciso for her works since the top and heart is so massive, the musc base is is nonexistent for me too.

      It is hilarious that the goats loved Mandorla! Too funny!

  5. bloody frida says:

    I love Angel *runs and hides* 🙂

    • Marie says:

      I’m actually quite fond of it, too. I might never wear it myself, but I enjoy it on others.
      There’s a woman I see from time to time work related and she wears it. It’s the only perfume in the room that you can identify when she’s in the room, but it suits her so well. She’s in her late 50s, wears her hair long and down, red lips, colorful nails (often alternating colors) and high heels and she holds one of the highest offices in her field. I like that.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lol, no need to run and hide, I can imagine how the tiniest drop is lovely, but I hate having to handle perfume like it is nitroglycerin. 😉

    • Undina says:

      I like Angel as well. And wear it sometimes.

  6. karin says:

    Thanks for the laugh, B!!! I share your disenchantment with mainstream fragrances…though I admit I do love Angel, albeit in very small doses! It can be so offensive when overdone. Guess my fav mass market scent apart from Angel is the original Juicy Couture.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are very welcome, Karin! 🙂
      Angel in very, very small doses is quite good and I also appreciate its groundbreaking concept, but in the wrong hands it is a deadly weapon.

  7. Marie says:

    I own (owned) a full bottle of Angel la Rose – and because it is a refill bottle and because I’m clumsy and didn’t close the cap properly a good part of the contents of that 50 ml bottle ended up in one of the drawers in my dresser. The scent wil never go away. Never. Ever. I haven’t worn the scent since then. I don’t have to. I smell it everytime I get near the dresser. I don’t store clothes in that dresser anymore for that reason. It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just that it is threatening to take over first my bedroom, then the apartment – and then the world.

    I like Idylle, too. It reminds me of EL Pleasures, but I think Idylle is clearer, somehow, more transparent. It also reminds me of Clinique Happy in Bloom, but a lot more refined. Dee kindly provided me with a sample, and although I already have a very sweet Guerlain (Champs Elysee), I wouldn’t mind owning a bottle of Idylle as well. It’s a happy scent.

    I’m happy to hear that there are more reviews like this one coming – I enjoy them a lot 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh what a story, if Angel La Rose ever takes over the world, we know it was set free in Denmark. 😉
      I like Idylle as well, it is just so unimaginative coming from a house like Guerlain.

      • Marie says:

        I agree that Idylle is suprising coming from Guerlain – it seems a bit redundant in light of the scents they’ve launched in recent years.

        I must assume total responsibility for letting the genie out of the bottle! The upside is that my bedroom now has that coveted boudoir feel with very little effort needed on my part 😉

      • Hazel says:

        I thought maybe you could store stationary in it? It would be one way to scent them, I love scented letters and cards…:0)

  8. James Dennard says:

    Burberry is a hit-and-miss house for me. I don’t like either version of The Beat. I think it’s the pepper note that doesn’t agree with me. Then again, I don’t see pepper listed for the masculine version. I love London and Brit, though, and Touch is tolerable.

    I used to like Narciso Rodriquez for her, but that was mainly because of a certain lady who wore it as her every-day fragrance. Haven’t smelled it in a while, so I’m not sure what I would think of it nowadays.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I used to wear Burberry Weekend, I don’t even know if it is still available…
      Narciso will probably remind you of that certain lady forever, depends if that is a good or a bad thing. 😉

    • Marie says:

      Burberry Beat the Elixir is supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried it.

  9. deeHowe says:

    NR musks don’t work for me, which is unfortunate, because I WANT to like it. Ha!

    Mini Reviews are the best! Mainstream scents that I like/love:
    Jacomo Silences! (yay for my new mini!)
    Grey Flannel
    Balmain Ambre Gris (the best linen spray Ever!)


    • Olfactoria says:

      Don’t worry about NR, you like Idylle, that is close enough! 😉
      I took your advice to heart and use Ambre Gris as a linen spray as well – perfection!

  10. Tara says:

    Like Lady Jane Grey, I had a rotten work-related day today and the first thing I’ve done on coming home is to log onto to my favourite blogs to cheer me up and boy has it! Not only are you hosting a massive giveaway but it’s mini reviews day! Love the honesty and humour in these reviews, B. Just a great, entertaining read.

    Most of my scents are high-end mainstream but I guess we are talking accessible, mass- market mainstream here, of which I only have Lancome Cuir and Kenzo Ca Sent Beau, both of which have been discontiued. Will check out dee’s suggestions for Silences and Grey Flannel which I haven’t tried.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Tara, I am so glad my blog could cheer you up a little! I hope tomorrow will be a better day for you!

      I am wearing Comme de Garcons Kyoto right now that you sent, it is wonderfully calming and meditative. Thank you for providing me with a little liquid peace of mind.

      • Tara says:

        Thanks, B! I managed to wheedle another Eau Noire mini from Dior after my meeting so that improved the day 🙂

        So glad you like Kyoto! It is definitely calming as opposed to bracing the way some incense scents can be. Did I just send you some of my sample before I got a full bottle? If so let me know and I’ll send a proper decant next time.

        • Olfactoria says:

          Those Dior minis are great! They last a long time, I love generous samples (wel, they better be looking at the price of the full bottles!)
          Regarding Kyoto – You are a sweetie and I have no shame! 🙂

  11. Elisa says:

    I love the original HeWood! I always assume I’m the only one, such a lame name and no one ever talks about it. I find it oddly calming, cooling and lovely and it probably costs 2 cents to make.

    I have many mainstream loves. Like others here I love Angel and the related-ish L de Lolita Lempicka. Flower by Kenzo is also a favorite. And I’ve worn Sensuous Noir a lot in the past year.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I heard from many sides that HeWood was loved, so you are not alone! 🙂
      Lolita Lempicka is great, it has realistic sillage.
      Flower is very endangered now, as I hear…

  12. annemariec says:

    Oh yay! I have a day off today! No work for me! While everyone else is chained at the desk, I’m slacking off! Yay yay yay.

    Sorry about that. (I rarely get a day off in the week, as opposed to a weekend.) So I’m going to one of those giant malls today full of discount and seconds stores. There is a place there that sells my favourite kind of socks. Sock shopping done, I will swing by the discount perfume place for some mainstream sniffing. Can’t wait.

    I smiled at your Chloe and Michael Kors reviews. I have never been able to see what the fuss is about. And Zen? Are those the low, square bottles I see at the Shisedo counter? Occasionally I sniff them, and wonder: is this the great house that brought us Feminite de Bois? How can that be? Oh right, yes, they sold it, didn’t they.

  13. Pingback: Out Of The Box – Mainstream Perfume Mini-Reviews Part 3 | Olfactoria's Travels

  14. Pingback: Where Is The Freak? – Review: Illamasqua Freak | Olfactoria's Travels

  15. Pingback: To Eat Or Be Eaten – Review: Reminiscence Les Notes Gourmandes Do Ré And Mi Fà | Olfactoria's Travels

  16. Pingback: Out Of The Box – Mainstream Mini-Reviews Part 4 | Olfactoria's Travels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s